Tobacco and warnings

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:59 pm IST

Published - April 02, 2015 03:53 am IST

This refers to the government backtracking on increasing pictorial warnings highlighting the dangers of tobacco consumption (“ >Govt. backtracks on pictorial warnings, ” April 1). A landmark decision, which was even acclaimed internationally, should not have met this fate. India would have been the only country with the largest percentage of pictorial warnings on tobacco products. It is said that some members of a parliamentary panel played a major role in keeping the decision on hold, allegedly taken after meeting with tobacco lobby representatives. The subsequent claim that there is no Indian survey report to prove that tobacco consumption leads to cancer is preposterous. Doesn’t the panel believe the report by the Ministry of Health which suggests that 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancers are reported every year in the country and that tobacco has been found to play a causative role in most of these cases? The reasoning, of the pictorial warnings having an “adverse impact” on the livelihood of people involved in the tobacco industry, is shaky.

Manoj Parashar,

Ghaziabad

As someone who has been greatly affected by passive smoking, it is upsetting that the government is taking regressive steps on curbing tobacco consumption. Passive smoking is a hazard in most metro cities and in my case, results in severe respiratory distress. I find it difficult to ask those responsible to stop. I think it’s a right for most of us to want clean air. How does anyone have the right to pollute air with substances that have 400 toxins and 43 carcinogenic compounds? I think the most important group in any policy formulation regarding the consumption of tobacco would and should be citizens like me.

Chaitanya M. Deshmane,

New Delhi

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